Close encounter with lynx
Czech photograph Vladimír Cech Jr. experienced a once-in-a lifetime encounter when he saw a lynx in the wild. Not one lynx but a whole family of three! He wrote the whole story on his Facebook page:
I was checking a couple of camera traps for the 3Lynx project, in which I cooperate with Šumava NP, and close to one of them "it" happened. The coincidence ... I was quite tired when I trailed behind in the high snow for about 2.5 km and, originally, I thought from a distance that there was a dead deer on the hill (the branches on the stump looked like antlers). The object did not move, so I went closer and did not even try to go quietly, but it was so windy, so they did not register me. So, I got up to 20 metres and then something moved on the left. Now I could see clearly that there was family of lynx just in front of me! The kitten on the left probably noticed me, or at least it looked like that ... in any case, it laid its head down to sleep again, so I crawled about ten, perhaps fifteen steps ... I was on the opposite hill - between us was a small ditch. I set myself there – I made a "tripod" from snow for my mobile phone because my hands were shaking and I waited. After about twenty minutes, the left kitten started to push her mother's head and woke her up ... The mother lifted her head and looked around, including at me. Then, the second kitten came to her and completely ignored me ... All of them stretched out ... Then mum slowly left the scene and I started to crawl to my backpack and wanted to disappear. The kittens registered me because my movement in the hard terrain was not very elegant and they went after their mother... I did not follow them, of course, and continued on my own.
Because the Sumava National Park’s team has monitored lynx since several years, we know that Mr. Cech met a lynx called Misa with her two kittens on their afternoon nap. Lynx Misa is an experienced mother. She was born to lynx Matylda in 2013 and these are her third kittens. She spent her first year with her mother and a sibling in Sumava NP, then she migrated to the west to find a new home. Her sibling left their mother’s home range and was documented around Bavarian Regen, then we lost tracks of him.
Misa settle down in CHKO Sumava, where she was recorded in photo traps, installed by Sumava NP team with cooperation with local hunters. The first two kittens were seen with Misa in 2016. She had one kitten next year and three in 2018. Young lynxes have up to 70 % mortality rate according to literature, so it was more sad news than a surprise that we are photographing only two kittens from December 2018.
All the lynxes in the recording look in good shape, so we hope that they will soon start enjoying the spring and the young kittens will be photographed from the right angles to determine their sex.
We will have an interview about lynx, tigers, photography, and travelling with Mr Čech soon.